Småland Outdoor (Axel) from Sweden and I have been reading each other’s blogs and supporting each other on social media for a couple of years. We therefore decided some months ago that it was about time for a meet-up.
The first weekend in November 2018 was marked on our respective calendars and finally the time arrived. I had a 2 hour 15 minute car drive from Denmark and we decided to meet at 14:00 pm on Friday afternoon. The sun would go down around 16:25 pm and we had just under 6 km to hike to camp one.
We met at Bökestad in Sweden N56° 13.277′ E14° 25.393′ where we parked our cars.
It was nice to finally meet Axel face to face. We got on with each other from the start and we began out on our hike chatting about gear, hiking and more gear. The Skåneleden Organisation had in the meantime closed down section 3A on SL1 so we missed the first turn off, although not far from the car park, we just turned around and quickly found our route again. I had been here a few times before and I had it downloaded as a GPX file too. The new SL1 section 3A is now established on the east side of the lakes which is also Blekingeleden Trail stage 4.
It was fairly overcast, around 10℃, although no rain was forecasted. We had to keep checking where we were as the famous Skåneleden blazers were now gone and the trail was already overgrown in some areas. Once we were not far from Lake Bäen I knew where we were and we followed the water’s edge up to the unofficial campsite where I had been before.
We had ½ an hour or so before the sun would officially go down and so we set about pitching our respective shelters and preparing dinner. I was thankfully pleased that Axel approved of the site that I had chosen for our first night on trail together.
At dinner time it started to rain, however ever so slightly, so it didn’t really bother us at all. After dinner Axel warmed some Swedish Glögg or mulled wine for us both. As we didn’t bother with a fire tonight, because we were both tired, the Glögg went down very nicely. We both agreed that we would go to bed early tonight and socialise some more tomorrow night around a campfire. It took me an hour or so to nod off to sleep.
I awoke around 04:00 am and found it difficult to go to sleep again. I could also hear Axel snoring a little too although that is not the reason I lay awake now. I finally nodded off to sleep again and was awake and out of bed around 06:45 am. Axel could hear me stirring around and I guess he was also out of bed 15 minutes or so after.
It was still fairly overcast although we knew that the sun would eventually burn off the cloud cover and the day actually ended with blue skies. In daylight Axel admired the camp site once again and we began our morning ritual of coffee brewing etc.
We set out around 08:15 am circling the lake a little first and then up a slight embankment to a forest track where we made our way north to Brotorpet.
At Norregård we missed the turn, as we were chatting so much and we were also looking the other way. However, we just turned around again and backtracked the two or three hundred meters, locating the forest track where we now headed east towards Skåneleden.
After a kilometre or so we joined the Skåneleden trail SL1 section 4 and hiked north. We would be on this trail until just after lunch, where we would leave Skåneleden and head in an easterly direction once again.
We arrived at Brotorpet around 11:00 am and decided to intake an early lunch. We had views of Lake Immeln and some tables and chairs to make use of. The breeze however was quite chilly as it was blowing straight in across the water from the lake. So we donned our puffy’s and enjoyed the scenery. The view below is looking west across the Lake Immeln.
After lunch we continued north little and then, leaving the Skåneleden trail, we headed east and then south along some gravel forest roads.
We passed a fishing stream that I had accidentally found the last time I was here. At that time there were a lot of men standing on the side of the stream fishing. You need a permit to fish here and along the water’s edge there are signs showing the location number. When I was here last time I tried to inquire as to what type of fish they were catching. However they could not understand me so I never found out. This time however I had Axel with me and fortunate for us there was one lone fisherman. Axel quickly deduced that it was trout that they were catching.
The day evolved into a pleasant, wind still, blue skied and almost cloudless day. To get to the campsite you have to bushwhack 750 m or so from the forest road turn-off heading due west towards the lake. About ½ way through our bushwhacking we heard voices and to our surprise we saw some hikers (Danish) mid in the bush trying to locate something (we think maybe it was our campsite). I said to Axel to quickly follow me and we disappeared out of sight heading towards our “secrete location”. We are not sure what our friends were doing and if they were looking for our site. Next morning, and just down the road, we passed some shelters where several hikers had overnighted. Perhaps they ended up here.
We arrived at camp two around 14:15 pm and had plenty of time to setup camp, filter water from the lake and forage firewood for the campfire tonight. Well, Axel organised the firewood and campfire; I just enjoyed it 😀. I must say that he did a splendid job. He was quite surprised himself as well 😂.
When we arrived at the site there was also quite a crowd of loud Danish canoeists gathered on the other side of the lake just over from us. They had not pitched any shelters and I guess there were 10 to 12 people. I felt a little disappointed as I had promised Axel the “perfect site” and both Axel and I hoped that they would soon leave. We also didn’t know if the other hikers that we had passed earlier still would stumble onto our “private campsite”.
We were not disappointed. The loud canoeists soon departed and our hiker friends never showed. What a perfect evening it turned out to be. At sunset we witnessed one of the most beautiful moments ever in my hiking experience. The lake’s mirror finish reflected the last remaining clouds and contrails. It was wind still and you could not do anything but be in the moment and admire the lake’s beauty. I didn’t want to be anywhere else.
We both use alcohol stoves. We also have custom made cones and baseplates from Stormin Stove Systems. Both of us don’t buy dehydrated packs of food from the outdoor store either and we prepared our own home-made meals. Axel showing me some new ideas too which has inspired me to start doing some variations of my own meals.
With dinner done and the sun gone down there was nothing left to do but enjoy the campfire and the little bottle of whiskey that I had packed. I had a great evening chatting with Axel around the fire and as the night progressed it became quite chilly so the warmth from the fire and the whiskey was appreciated.
On Sunday a sea of fog hovered over the lake. We set out about just after 08:00 am. When we climbed the little rise we could still see the mist and fog floating over the lake below. The autumn colours are beautiful this time of the year.
We only had 11 km to hike today back to the car. The sun soon came out and slowly it burned off the most of the morning fog. We headed south parallel to the lake through forest and farm roads until finally we reached the Skåneleden Trail SL1 Section 3. We also walked a little way on the Blekingeleden Trail stage 4.
At 11:00 am we arrived back at the car park at Bökestad. This gave us ample time to travel home and sort our gear etc. and spend some time with our respective families enjoying the last few hours of the weekend.
Thank you Axel (Småland Outdoor) for a super weekend! It was certainly a pleasant change to have someone along on a hike and equally a “like minded” light-weight interested hiker. I hope that this is the first of many meet-ups.
We have also planned a “canoe hike” in the springtime 2019. So stay tuned for that.
YouTube video here:
Update October, 2020
Stormin Stove Systems are no longer available for purchase
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